K-drama Mr Queen slapped with 'administrative guidance' by South Korean commission

The TV series, starring Shin Hye-sun (above) and Kim Jung-hyun, has been enjoying steady popularity since the airing of the first episode. PHOTO: VIU

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korean period comedy drama Mr Queen (2020 to present) will receive "administrative guidance" for controversial scenes in the drama, the subcommittee of Korea Communications Standards Commission (KCSC) announced last Wednesday (Jan 20).

Mr Queen, based on the Chinese web drama Go Princess Go (2015), revolves around a present-day playboy who enters the body of Queen Cheorin of Joseon.

The TV series, starring Shin Hye-sun and Kim Jung-hyun, has been enjoying steady popularity since the airing of the first episode. It reached a 13.6 per cent viewership rating for the most recent episode on Sunday, according to market researcher Nielsen Korea.

But the KCSC has received over 4,000 complaints from viewers who were displeased with the drama's misrepresentation of history.

The scenes in question include one from December in which the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty were called nothing but a tabloid and drinking games were played to music during a royal ancestral ritual at the Jongmyo shrine.

"Even when characteristics attributed to drama are taken into consideration, the drama disparages the historical value of national treasures and intangible cultural properties like the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty, the royal ancestral ritual in the Jongmyo Shrine and its music, among others," said Korea Communications Standards Commission last Wednesday.

"The drama also depicted actual historical people in a comical way and distorted facts, making viewers uncomfortable."

However, the subcommittee, consisting of five members of KCSC, decided to issue an administrative guidance against the drama after taking into account that the programme producers fixed the problems in the later episodes.

An administrative guidance is given for minor violations of broadcasting regulations and has no legal implications for the broadcasters. More serious matters face legal restriction, fines and deduction in broadcasting evaluations that can make renewal of broadcasting rights difficult.

The producers of the drama edited the controversial phrase on the Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty for the re-broadcasts in December and released an official apology to the viewers. They also blurred the vulgar hand motion made by the king's mother in depicting the royal couple having sex.

In addition, the drama producers changed the surnames of actual historical characters in the drama to fake names after descendants of a certain character, who was comically depicted, lodged a complaint.

"Contrary to our intention to bring healthy laughter, we have troubled the viewers and for that we apologise. We will pay closer attention to producing and try our best to make better drama," said the producers on Dec 15.

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